How to avoid getting chilblains while traveling?

Also known as pernio, perniosis, chilblain are small lesions caused by the inflammation of blood vessels after exposure to the cold air. They occur in response to the repeated exposure to cold but not freezing air. It can cause itching, red patches, swelling, and blistering on the hands and feet. It usually clears up within two to three weeks. Chilblains occur in response to cold temperature. They normally heal within a few weeks if further exposure to cold is avoided. It occurs frequently in children as well as elderly people. It does not usually result in permanent injury. But the condition can lead to infection, which may further damage if left untreated.

Signs and Symptoms of Chilblains:

Most of the people don’t even need to seek medical help if this condition goes away early and don’t cause any permanent problems. If your skin is infected, then you need to contact the doctor.

Some signs are:

  • Pus or swelling formed in the affected areas
  • Swollen glands
  • High Temperature
  • Feeling unwell
  • Blistering of skin
  • Skin ulcers
  • Burning Sensation on the skin
  • Change in the color of skin

How are chilblains diagnosed?

If you notice redness, itchy swelling in your skin and you have not had them before, there might be a possibility that you have this medical condition. You should seek medical advice before it turns into some serious condition. With chronic chilblains, you may also see scarring. If you notice anything different about the bumps, you should immediately seek medical advice.

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What to do if you are traveling?

We have compiled some pointers about chilblains that you can keep in mind if you are planning a trip:

  • Try to stay in ambient temperature and avoid extremes of hot and cold temperature.
  • Keep away from draughts
  • Keep your feet warm by wearing boots.
  • Don’t forget to wear gloves while heading out in winters
  • Wash your hands with warm water rather than hot.
  • Do some gentle exercises to keep your body temperature normal
  • Sometimes nicotine can cause the blood vessels to constrict, which can make the condition of chilblains worse. Stop smoking for some time.
  • Always keep your feet moisturized.
  • Eat at least one hot meal during the day.
  • Keep your house well heated.
  • If you are diabetic, keep a check on your feet regularly.

Complications of chilblains:

If you have severe or recurring chilblains, there’s a small risk of many other problems developing like:

  • Ulcers forming on the skin
  • Scarring of the skin
  • Permanent discoloration of the skin
  • Formation of ulcers on the skin

Chilblains can be uncomfortable as well as painful, but usually they don’t pose threat for a long time. In most of the cases, they heal on their own within a few weeks, but that does not necessarily mean that you don’t have to pay attention to it. Keep a proper check on any changes in your fingers and nails. Even if you are planning a trip, keep the points mentioned above in mind. Also carry some warm clothes with you so as to avoid any kind of complications in future. Share this with your friends and family to make them aware about the consequences of chilblains that might make them uncomfortable. Stay Safe Stay Healthy.


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